Chit Chatting with Raffaela Capp

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Multi-talented Raffaela Capp was able to sing before she could talk. She is also an actress, writer, songwriter, dancer…you name it! Read on and find out more about her, her acting, and her singing.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got your start acting.

Raffaela: I’m a 5’2” New Yorker living in Los Angeles. Acting is something I’ve always done. My grandma did theatre, my mom did theatre, and I was in my first show at the age of five as a little princess in The King and I.

 

R: Tell us about your movie and about your character, Kimberly Hill.

Raffaela: REACH is a teen dramedy with a strong message of hope in the lives of a few teenage boys. An anti-suicide, anti-bullying message is its theme. I play Kimberly Hill, older sister to Daniel Hill (played by my real life brother, Steven) and girlfriend to Nick Perkins (played by the talented Jordan Doww – nominated for second year in a row Teen Choice for best comedian). Kimberly is dating the “wrong” guy and by the end of the movie, she comes into her own.

 

R: What was the audition like for the movie?

Raffaela: My audition involved the director viewing my reel, and then a meeting. I was recommended for the role by the writers and producers. Because of my relationship with the production team, I had the opportunity to witness REACH develop from the ground up over the last 3 + years. Johnny (writer, Clarence) and I played opposite each other as CB and Van’s Sister in Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead in December 2014. There were talks of only name actors for all roles, including Kim. But the creative team and other producers knew that the purpose of REACH was to empower not only the audience, but also empower the talent involved in the movie. It was a mixture of seasoned TV and film pros with talent who were given an opportunity to “reach” to the next level in their career, and that included me. The beautiful thing about REACH is it gave a lot of “unknown” talent the opportunity to work and be a part of something powerful–something that has the potential to be life changing for all.


R: What was your favorite part about being in the movie?

Raffaela: Getting to work with such a fun and talented cast and crew. Joey Bragg (Disney’s Liv and Maddie) is hysterical and is such a talent at improv and comedy. He had us laughing, which was a good way to off-set the seriousness of the bullying and suicide themes. It was a family. The director’s brother is in it, and my brother and sister (Natasha), too.

 

R: You are also a singer/songwriter. What is your writing process?

Raffaela: It usually starts off as a story I wish to tell. It then transitions into a song with a beginning, middle, and end! Then everything is kind of inspired thereafter. It’s really different every time, depending on my mood, emotions, and how I’m feeling that moment or that day. Sometimes it happens walking to my car after a long shift at work. I’ll start singing a melody and record it on my iphone. That’s what happened with “I Love Me.”

 

R: Tell us about your single “Hurricane” and about “I Love Me”

Raffaela: “Hurricane” is a song written by Bruce Vanderveer, Ebony Vanderveer, and Elise Legrow. I sang the vocals and collaborated with actor/rapper Chris Redd. He wrote the rap! “I Love Me” is a song I wrote. It is my own personal anthem and I hope it to become one for others, especially those who find that they’ve been compromising their truth. I want them to hear my song and gain the strength to stand up! Both songs are about empowerment, and loving and rocking who you are.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

Raffaela: “Hurricane” is released under the InRage Label, and I have a single, “So What,” from my first EP which is also available to download. You may listen to them on Soundcloud and on iTunes. “I Love Me” will be my single off my second EP and will be released simultaneously to the release of the movie (hopefully this fall!). “I Love Me” as well as my second EP will be released under the InRage Label and will be available on Itunes, Spotify, and Tidal.

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

Raffaela: I just performed at the Jones Beach Bandshell and had a blast. I definitely hope to visit Jones Beach again.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

Raffaela: Sandra Bullock, for being a classy and inspiring representation of strong, beautiful, and powerful women. Musically, I have too many to list!

 

R: If you could travel back in time, what time period would you pick and why?

Raffaela: The 80’s. The fashion! The clothes! Even though I’m fine with wearing sweats all day long. Still. So cool!

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

Raffaela: When I see the color green I melt, eggplant parmesan is the way to my heart, my go-to snack at the movies is popcorn mixed with peanut M&M’s, I love Adam Lambert, and Lord of the Flies and The Outsiders are still my favorite books.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

Raffaela: “Will you go away to Venice with me and let me bathe you in chocolate?” Thank you Tinder.

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them in general?

Raffaela: Love you to the best of your ability. Embrace being different. Embrace being unique. Being “normal” is overrated. There is nothing wrong with you, ever. People are mean, and fitting in is no way near as cool as standing out. So if you’re considered “weird,” you’re the winner!

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/ or youtube page?

Raffaela: Yes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and I just got a Snapchat!

Twitter: el_la_bel_la

Instagram: el_la_bel_la_

Facebook: Raffaela

Snapchat: RaffyCapp

Website: raffaelacapp.com

YouTube: Raffaela Capp

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

Raffaela: Thank you! Tweet me, Instagram me, Facebook me, or Snapchat me anytime!

 

Photo Credit: Raffaela and Reach – The Movie

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Isabella Alexander

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Many of you may have seen actress Isabella Alexander on the show Fresh off the Boat. Her character, Alison, is the girlfriend of Eddie, played by Hudson Yang. Read on and find out more about her, her character Alison and five things people may not know about her. Also, be on the lookout for her upcoming projects! You won’t want to miss them.

 

R: Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.

I: I am 14 years old, and I am pretty much a normal teenager who happens to get to work on television shows and in commercials. My start in acting came from what I thought was a devastating setback. I have always loved any type of performing arts, but I used to concentrate on competitive dancing. A few years ago, I had a really bad injury that put me in a full length leg cast. My inability to dance led me to focus on acting, and I found out that I loved it more than anything.

 

R: Tell us about your show Fresh Off the Boat and your character, Alison.

I: Fresh Off the Boat is a very funny comedy (on ABC) about a Taiwanese family who comes to live in Orlando in the 1990s. I play the girlfriend of the eldest son, Eddie. Alison is a smart, sweet student, but she bonds with Eddie through their love of rap music. She can even play “Ain’t Nothin but a G Thang” on the piccolo!

 

R: What was the audition process for the show?

I: It was a very quick audition process for the role. I think I had one audition and boom, the role was mine! It usually doesn’t happen that fast.

 

R: What is it like working with the cast and what has been your favorite memory so far?

I: The cast has become like my family and working with them is so much fun! Some days I shoot with the characters in Eddie’s family, and other days the story is more about school and Eddie’s posse of friends. I have also learned so much as an actress from Randall Park and Constance Wu, who play his parents.

I have lots of great memories, but the episode about the Janet Jackson concert was my favorite. I got to dress up like Janet Jackson from her Rhythm Nation tour and work with some of her backup dancers.

 

R: You also played May in Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. Tell us about the show and your character.

I: Gortimer Gibbons is a great show about two best friends who live on Normal Street, expect Normal Street has something a little magical going on. May is a fun character because she is a bubbly cheerleader who gets into funny situations with the other characters.

 

R: Do you have any other upcoming projects?

I: There are a couple of projects in the works, but like most things in Hollywood, I can’t say much just yet.

 

R: How do you balance school and your career?

I: I make sure that every day I count my many blessings and remind myself that in difficult and stressful times, I am a very, very fortunate girl. I try to stay very organized and prioritize my time. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes I have to give up time with friends or certain activities, but it is totally worth it!

 

R: I read that you sing. Do you have any plans in the future or near future to record music?

I: I love to both sing and dance, and would love to record music if ever given the chance, but right now I am focusing mostly on my acting projects.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

I: In acting, Jennifer Garner and Angelina Jolie. They both are terrific actors but are also known for “giving back.” I think that is really important. In life, my brother is my biggest influence. He is a little older, and the complete opposite of me, but I love him so much.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

I:

1) I love dogs!

2) I love “old” musicians and almost all types of music

3) I would love to have my own clothing line

4) I really like science and hope to someday be a neurosurgeon

5) I love to travel and hope to study abroad for a year during college

 

R: It is not easy being a teenager. What advice would you give them?

I: Accept yourself and all of your flaws, and accept them in others as well. Once I did, I became happier than ever before. Also, jealousy will get you nowhere. Be happy for the success of others. There is room for everyone.

 

R: Tell us about some of the charities that are close to your heart.

I: There are so many great charities and I feel it’s important for teens to get involved and give back. Read Across America is an organization that promotes reading for children. This organization has impacted me greatly because all kids should have books and be encouraged to read. I also support Wounded Warrior Project, because I feel we should honor and help those veterans who were injured protecting our freedom.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

I: “Do you and Hudson date in real life?’

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official site and/or YouTube page?

I: Of course, I love keeping in touch with my fans!

Instagram: @isabellaalexander

Twitter/Musical.ly: @itsisabellaalexander

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

I: I really do love and appreciate my fans so much. They remind me every day how lucky I am!

 

R: Isabella, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

I: It was so much fun talking to Relate!

 

Picture credit: Fresh off the Boat ABC, Sarah Dunlap

 

Chit Chatting with Dancer and Choreographer Kristin McQuaid

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Kristin McQuaid is an actress, dancer, and choreographer. You may have seen her work on So You Think You Can Dance, Dance Moms, and she even got to dance on tour with singer Britney Spears. Read on and learn more about her, what she has acted in, and what five things people may not know about her.

 

R: Tell us about yourself and how you got dancing. Was being a choreographer something you wanted to do as a child?

K: Well, I didn’t start dancing until I was eleven years old. I was playing soccer, but my younger sister danced and I thought I would try it out. When I try something new, I put 110% into it, so, as you can imagine, I was at the dance studio seven days a week trying to master the art of dance. Choreography didn’t come into my life until around the age of fifteen. I started choreographing group routines and winning awards, and something told me that was my calling.

 

R: What is your favorite type of dance and why?

K: Jazz! It’s so high-energy and fun to watch. Jazz also matches my personality. I am really outgoing, spunky, and energetic. Jazz dance is all that combined.

 

R: What is your process of creating a dance routine?

K: I never pre-choreograph anything. I never like my choreography when I do so. I like to live in the moment and let my mind and body speak to me right then and there. I feel that is when some of my best work comes to life. Music is my biggest inspiration, as well as life’s struggles and accomplishments.

 

R: What advice would you give someone who wanted to be a choreographer?

K: To take a risk. Show who YOU really are. I feel that is the hardest part about being a choreographer these days with social media and YouTube on the rise. Everyone is seeing what is working and they then bring that same thing to the table. Be unique. Everyone is created differently for a reason and we should all embrace those attributes.

 

R: You have worked with many talented entertainers. Who were they and what are your top five projects?

K:

  1. Hailee Payne, So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: I got to choreograph her solos for the season.
  2. Nia Sioux Frazer, Dance Moms: I choreographed a concept piece for her called “Shark” and also just completed a celebrity endorsement commercial for her.
  3. Dance Moms: I was a guest choreographer on Season 6.
  4. I danced for Britney Spears during her Onyx Hotel tour.
  5. I was in a music video with Prince. It was really cool to have worked with such a legend.

 

R: You are also an actress. How did you get your start in acting? Tell our readers about some of the things that you have been in.

K: I fell in love with acting through dance. I find they are very relatable in many ways. My big break into the acting business was on American Dreams on NBC. It was a show set in the 60s and I got to dance and act on the show! It was the best of both worlds for me. I was then seen in the feature film Beautiful starring Minnie Driver, several episodes of Days of our Lives, and the film Zombie Prom, produced by Wes Craven.

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

K: I am going to be releasing a music video that I choreographed for a huge up and coming artist. I am so excited for everyone to see it! This artist is extremely talented and only thirteen years old!

 

R: Tell us about your clothing line Kraze. Do you have a website for your clothing line?

K: I started my own clothing line! I have my own spin on style and I wanted to share it with the world. I am all about being unique and being true to who you are. This line speaks that. All of my 2016/17 spring line is on sale now and my 2017 fall line is coming out soon!www.krazebykristin.com

 

R: How did you come up with the idea for the line?

K: I want people to feel they can express who they are with the clothes they wear. I feel my line lets you be YOU. Clothing speaks volumes and I want to improve the minds of those that feel trapped. I wanted to create a line that was comfortable to wear when just hanging out or even wear to dance class.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

K:

  1.    If I wasn’t a choreographer, I would be a marine biologist.
  2.    I am a HUGE animal lover!
  3.    My favorite color is yellow.
  4.    I am OBSESSED with the Titanic!
  5.    I love Hello Kitty.

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

K: I definitely want to keep working on my craft. You can never stop learning and growing. I want to choreograph music videos for new artists, and work on more TV shows!

 

R: Do you have any charities or causes that are close to your heart? If so, tell us about them.

K: The ASPCA. With me being such a huge animal person, I knew that was the best charity for me to serve with and be a part of.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

K: “Has anyone ever told you that you look like the singer Pink?” (I get asked that all the time!)

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

K: Yes!

Instagram: @kristin_mcquaid

Twitter: @kristin_mcquaid

Facebook: Kristin McQuaid

Snapchat: @krazebykristin

YouTube: Kristin McQuaid

Website: www.KristinMcQuaid.com

 

R: Anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

K: I would love this world to turn into a happier place, so try and find the positive in everything you do. Some days might be tough, but there is still a positive in there somewhere. I would also just like to thank all of my fans for their continued love and support! You guys are awesome!

 

Picture source: Kelly Lee

 

Chit Chatting with Clara Lukasiak

 

Written by Jill Sheets

 

Recently, I got to interview the adorable dancer Clara Lukasiak. Some of you may have seen her on the hit show Dance Moms. Not only does she dance, but she is adding actress to her resume. You will want to keep an eye out for her–I am sure that this is only the start. Read on and learn about her, her new show, and about her YouTube page.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into dancing.

C: I’m seven and a half years old. I have an older sister that dances, so I have been in a dance studio with her since I was born. I started my first lessons when I was two!

 

R: What is your favorite thing about dancing?

C: I love ballet!

 

R: You were on Dance Moms. What was it like?

C: It was really fun and I got to finally be a part of filming, but I don’t really remember because I was a baby.

 

R: Tell us about Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn and about your character, Lil’ Jill.

C: It was really fun to meet the cast because I’m a really big fan of the show. Lil’ Jill is a basketball superstar, but wanna know a secret? I didn’t really make all of those shots. TV magic!

 

R: What was the audition process like? How did you find out that you got the role?

C: I just went in a room with a casting director and they asked me to pretend that I was playing basketball. My manager called my mom and told her that I got the part!

 

R: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

C: You will have to stay tuned!

 

R: If you could work with any five people, who would they be?

C: Tom Hanks, Dwayne Johnson, Chloe Lukasiak, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, and Meg Ryan.

 

R: Tell us about your YouTube page “Clara’s World.” 

C: It’s super fun to make videos, and I like being in charge of making them.

 

R: What has been your favorite memory so far? 

C: I liked swinging on my swing set in my old neighborhood with my best friend, Caroline.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence and why?

C: My big sister, Chloe. I loved her Teen Choice Award acceptance speech, and she’s just really inspiring to me.

 

R: What has been the best advice that you have ever gotten? Who gave you that advice?

C: Always be yourself. I gave myself that piece of advice.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

C: I like things in order, I am a straight-A student, I have a blanket named “Plinky,” I have freckles, and I love Pinterest!

 

R: What are some of your future goals?

C: I want to sing and own a mall.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? What is your YouTube page?  

C: Instagram and Twitter: @realclarasworld

My YouTube is “Clara’s World.”

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

C: Thank you for all of your love and support!

 

 

Picture credit: Kenneth Dolin

 

Meet 10-Year-Old Actress Alexa Nisenson

 

Who says you can’t start young? Alexa Nisenson made her feature film debut in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life when she was only nine years old. Now, you’ll be seeing this talented young actress again in the upcoming comedy Fist Fight, starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day. The movie is set to release February 17, so don’t miss it!

 

R: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: OK, so I am ten years old, but getting closer to eleven (my birthday is in June, so not too far away!). I am an only child and live in LA with my parents and our dog. I am an actress, but I also love to sing and dance! I love hanging out with my friends, being with my family, and spending time at the beach. I know I am young, but I am a total beauty product junkie! I think from being in hair and make-up trailers a lot, I have learned to love beauty products, makeup, and fashion. I want to keep acting, and also one day direct and produce films.

 

R: How long have you been acting? When did you realize it was something you wanted to seriously pursue?

C: I think I have always known in some way that performing was something that was in my blood. People are surprised sometimes to learn that I was, and even still can be at times, a pretty shy person, but somehow, when I was singing or dancing or putting on shows for my family, I felt the most comfortable and happy, and definitely not shy! I didn’t first start auditioning for TV or film until I was eight years old, so it’s pretty new to me. I landed my first job when I was eight on a TV show called Constantine on NBC.

 

R: Tell us about your film debut Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. 

C: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is a movie based on the best-selling book series written by the amazing James Patterson. Middle School is a family movie – it’s really something everyone can enjoy, appreciate, and relate to in some way. I play Georgia, the little sister of Rafe. Rafe is starting middle school. He is a pretty creative and artistic kid who sometimes finds himself in trouble with authority. In the movie, you learn about him and his family and why he struggles with these middle school years. It’s funny, but it’s also emotional – it really is an amazing movie. I worked with some of the most talented, kind, and loving actors in the business. Griffin Gluck and Thomas Barbusca as Rafe and Leo have become like big brothers to me. Lauren Graham plays the mom, Jules, and it was a dream come true working with her. She’s insanely talented and so sweet! Rob Riggle plays Bear and is honestly one of the nicest and funniest guys I have ever met.

 

R: Can you tell us about the movie Fist Fight?

C: Of course! Well, unlike Middle School, Fist Fight is not quite a family film! It is a rated R comedy starring Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, and Jillian Bell. I play Ally Campbell, the daughter of Charlie Day’s character. The movie is about two teachers who are very different and end up in an after-school fist fight to settle their differences after one of them gets fired at the hand of the other! It’s a hilarious movie, but it also has some really cool messages about schools, education, and how hard teachers of today have it. Ally, my character, is experiencing some bullying of her own and she and her dad both end up confronting their bullies and making peace!

 

R: What do you like to do besides acting?

C: I love to dance! I used to compete, but I don’t anymore because I chose to really focus on my acting. I loved competing, though, and I’ve had the chance to dance with some amazing dance studios. I also just started taking singing lessons — I love to sing and want to get better at that! I love fashion and makeup, and someday I want to design a line of clothing for girls!

 

R: Where can fans find you on social media?

C: Follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t have Facebook or an official website yet, but hopefully one day soon! I am also on musical.ly at @alexanisenson.

 

R: Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

C: Yes! Thank you for your support and interest in my journey. I see all your messages and likes and tweets and it means the world to me! I know there are so many amazing and talented people in this world and the fact that you choose to support and follow me is a dream come true. And if I could just say one thing in general – be kind! Kindness is cool and kindness can save a life. Everyone out there is doing their best to do good in this world, and it’s hard as kids growing up with social media, cyber-bullying, and competition everywhere you turn. So let’s raise each other up and offer support to the people around us, because it can really go a long way! Let’s be kind to ourselves and to each other because even though we are young, we have the power to bring positive change to the world!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Alexa Nisenson press

 

Meet Dance Moms Choreographer Gia Martello

 

If you’ve watched Lifetime’s hit TV show Dance Moms, then you’ve probably been amazed by these talented young dancers and their spectacular performances. Behind the crazy dance moves and beautiful choreography is Gianna Martello, who has worked with the Abby Lee Dance Company for years and is the main choreographer for the show. Find out how long she’s worked with Abby, her favorite styles of dance, and what inspired her to pursue it as a career.

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

G: My name is Gianna, but most people call me Gia. I don’t have a middle name. I’m twenty-seven years old and a Gemini. I am bi-coastal; I split my time between Los Angeles and my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. I am currently the choreographer on Dance Moms, but I grew up dancing at the ALDC under Abby Lee Miller, so that’s how it all fell into place.

R: How long have you been dancing?

G: I have been dancing since I was four years old. I started in a church basement taking only ballet and tap, but I wanted to take all styles, which is why I switched to dance under Abby. The rest is history!

R: When did you decide you wanted to be a choreographer?

G: I started teaching and assisting Abby when I was sixteen. She trained her older students to teach her lesson plan and pass it on to the younger dancers. Once I went to college, I started coming home on the weekends to teach and choreograph, and I knew that this is what I loved to do.

R: Tell us about Dance Moms. How did you get involved with the show?

G: I grew up dancing for Abby and started working for her while I was still in high school. Some of the girls on the show were the first students I ever had, when they were very young. I was teaching and choreographing dances for the girls way before the show started. I used to go to competition with them, get them ready, warm them up, and make sure they were stage ready, so it was only right that I did the same on the TV show.


R: What’s your favorite style of dance?

G: My two favorite styles are lyrical and contemporary. I grew up as a strong lyrical dancer, and contemporary became more popular as I was older.

R: What are some of your other interests besides dance?

G: Shopping, makeup, fashion, music, sushi, massages…y’know!

R: What advice do you have for young dancers?

G: I wasn’t always the best dancer in my group, but I know I was the most passionate. Dance was the only thing I cared about when I was growing up. If it is your obsession, being the best doesn’t matter. Stick with it!

 

Check out Gia on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Ryan West

Chit Chatting with Singer Matt Moseley

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently I had the honor of interview dancer Matt Moseley. Some of you may have seen him in Sia’s music video for the hit song “The Greatest.”  Matt is trained in jazz, hip-hop, tap, and even swing. This multitalented young man can also sing and act. Read on and learn more about him, what it was like working with Sia (and Ariana Grande) and about his EP.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the entertainment business.

M: I can’t really say the day I remember starting in the entertainment business, because it was so long ago! I’ve been apart of this business since as long as I can remember.

 

R: What were your parents’ reactions when they found out you wanted to perform?

M: They’re both very loving, supportive, and forgiving parents. Almost all the time, I’m being told how proud they are, but they try and make sure they’re not too involved in my own career since they both have their own lives and matters to worry about.

 

R: You where featured as a dancer in Sia’s recent music video for her song “The Greatest.” Tell us about that. What was like working with Sia?

M: You can’t imagine just how much fun the filming and downtime process was. So many memories were made during that time. I remember we had to get our heads shaved almost hours before the shoot, and I was the first to volunteer! It may not seem too crazy, but to have to lose all your hair that fast in that short amount of time is quite a lot to handle. Sia was (and is) a phenomenal woman, though. Her smile completely brightens a room, her personality is one of a kind, and she has the mindset to be only creative. She’s a wonderful woman and loves all people.

 

R: You also have been on some network shows. Which shows have you been on?

M: Some shows you might’ve seen me on recently are critically acclaimed shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, and many others!

 

R: Not only do you dance, but you are an actor and singer. Tell us about your cover of Jack Miller’s “Dazed and Confused.”

M: The process of filming the video was very fun and a huge learning process. I got to understand the way that the filmmaking process works and it was quite interesting. My co-star was very easy and fun to work around. We’ve actually been apart of the same dance team studio in the past!

 

R: Do you have plans on recording an album or EP?

M: I’ve been working on a couple of originals. I have a couple of melodies stuck in my head, but I definitely want to make 2017 the year that I release my first EP/album.

 

R: Where can people get your music?

M: I post new content on my YouTube channel about every other Friday, I have a SoundCloud page that I post almost all of my covers on, and I also put out small covers on my Instagram (link below).

 

R: I read that you got to work with Ariana Grande. If so, tell us about it.

M: For the past couple of winter seasons, I’ve worked on very engaging and exciting Disney-styled panto productions with a couple of A-list celebrities–Ariana Grande, Olivia Holt, and Jordan Fisher to name a few. I got the chance to work and partner with them, and they are just fantastic! They’re extremely talented people with amazing personalities and I’m looking forward to working more with this company in the future!

 

R: What are some of your upcoming projects?

M: I recently got the opportunity to sign with the social media/TV/movie production company, AwesomenessTV! They’re helping me achieve my dream and work with some of the artists I look up to. I also recently competed in an episode of a popular dance show called Dance Off Juniors on the DanceOn app!

 

R: Do you have a girlfriend? What do you look for in one?

M: The main thing in a girl that I look for is honesty, reliability, humor, trust, and understanding no matter what situations you both may face.

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence?

M: Coming from a teenage boy this might sound clichéd, but I truly believe that Justin Bieber has been a very large influence, not only for me, but for boys and girls around the world who want to spread their talents.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

M: I have a really excellent talent for impressions, I practiced the art of Tai Kwon Do when I was younger, I have three very adorable and quite yippy dogs, I’ve been dancing all styles professionally for over fourteen years, and I’ve also starred in a couple of major short films during my early teen years.

 

R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

M: It’s not a super odd question, but at the time I thought it was borderline strange and I still do. I was picking out a toothbrush from the store because I had to replace my old one, and this guy comes up to me and asks me what color toothbrush I used. I kind of just stood there for a moment and was just taken back, then I responded, but that was probably the strangest question I’ve ever been asked.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

M: All of my social media tags are the same across all platforms. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube. They’re all @realmattmoseley.

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

M: I want to just say to every single person that’ll come across to meet me, and find out more about me, that I thank you for your continued support, and that with most of my career, it wouldn’t work without any of you all being there for me. Thank you all, and much love.

 

R: Matt, thank you for the interview. Have a great day.

M: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking to you! Have a good day as well!

 

Chit Chatting with Actress Grace Kaufman

 

Written by Jill Sheets

Recently, I had the honor of interviewing multi-talented actress Grace Kaufman. She plays Kate on the TV show Man with a Plan, a  popular CBS comedy about a contractor who starts spending more time with his crazy kids, who he has to wrangle all by himself while his wife is at work. Read on to learn more about Grace, her love of singing, what people may not know about her, and why she loves to act.

R: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into acting.

G: I’ve always had a vibrant passion for acting. Both of my parents are actors, so I guess you could say it runs in the family! I used to put on plays as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz for my friends and family. I started in my mom’s acting classes when I was two years old, and began auditioning when I was six. I landed my first role playing Tootie in a production of Meet Me in St. Louis at the Carpenter Center in Long Beach. From there, it began!

 

R: Tell us about your show Man with A Plan and about your character Kate.

G: Man With A Plan is about a family in which our mom, Andi (Liza Schneider), goes back to work after staying home for thirteen years raising my younger siblings and I. Now, our dad (Matt LeBlanc) must really step up to the plate and become our “warden.” The show focuses around our crazy adventures and shenanigans. My character Kate is a blast to play because she has a little sass and rebelliousness in her, but she loves her family too, which is where I feel I can relate to her.

 

R: What was the audition process like? Where were you when you found out you got the part?

G: I received the audition script from my agents, and instantly fell in love with the character Kate. I went in and auditioned, then got a callback. When I came in for the callback, I got to read with Matt for the first time. I was so excited to meet him and even more excited to get to read the scene with him. I found out I got the part as I was getting picked up from school. I hopped into my mom’s car, and she filmed me as she told me the news. I was absolutely over the moon!

 

R: What is it like working with Kali Rocha and Matt LeBlanc? Have they given you any advice so far?

G: They are awesome, and I have learned so much from both Kali and Matt. It is an honor to get to work with such talented actors. Matt has given me lots of good advice, specifically in comedic timing, and that the funniest moments are always the most honest and real moments. I love watching both of them perform. They are brilliant, and have really helped me grow in my work.

 

R: What is a normal taping day for you?

G: Well, I normally get to set around noon, and we rehearse/camera block for a few hours. Then, after I go to set school, I go to get my hair and makeup done and get some food. After eating dinner, I change into my wardrobe and head down to the hair and makeup trailer again to do a speedy run-through of our lines with the rest of the cast. Then we go out and tape the show for the live audience.


R: Tell us about your film Sister and about your character.

G: Sister is a film that revolves around a family and their dark troubles. I play Nikki, a girl who suffers from ADHD, who is adopted into the Presser family. She struggles to cope with her new life, living with her older adopted brother Billy and fitting into a new environment. In the end, however, she realizes that she loves her brother and that family is everything.

 

R: What do you love most about acting?

G: I love that when I am acting, I forget about everything else happening in the world. I just get to live in the moment as someone that is not Grace Kaufman. As an actress I get to explore other people and different lives through the roles I play. It is one of the most magical and magnificent feelings in the world.

 

R: Not only do you act, but you sing and dance. Do you have any plans are releasing any music?

G: I love singing so much, and I think it would be amazing to get to release music. I have been writing some songs, and I can’t wait to see what happens!

 

R: Who has been your biggest influence in your life and why?

G: My mom and dad have been the biggest influences in my life. They love me and are always there for me in everything I do. They also push me to constantly try my hardest. I would not be where I am today without them.

 

R: Are there any charities or causes that are close to your heart? If so, which ones?

G: I strongly support the Autoimmune Disease Awareness charity. Every year there is a walk to help raise money and awareness for the disease and cause. I know many people, including my mom, who struggle with some form of the disease. It is wonderful to help out with this cause.

 

R: What are five things people may not know about you?

G:

1. I have two dogs and a kitten.

2. I play piano.

3. I could eat pizza all day every day.

4. I flew to Hawaii alone for the first time this summer to visit my friend.

5. I have a little brother.


R: Other than this one, what is the strangest question you have ever been asked?

G: “If you were a tree, what tree would you be?”

 

R: What advice would you give teenagers these days?

G: Being a teenager myself, I totally know that it can be annoying and mess with your confidence. Believe me, I struggle with my self-esteem all the time. I just want you all to know that it will be all right. I think it is very important to surround yourself with people who constantly support you and what you love. Believe in yourself and never be afraid to follow your heart. They always know the way in achieving your greatest hopes and dreams.

 

R: Are you on any social networking sites? If so, which ones and what are their addresses? Do you have an official website and/or YouTube page?

G: You can find me on all social media at: @imgracekaufman (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). I am planning to make a YouTube, so stay tuned!

 

R: Is there anything else you would like to add or say to your fans?

G: Thank you for all of the constant support and love I receive! I am so grateful to have such dedicated and awesome fans. I love you all so much, and would not be where I am today without you guys.

 

 

Photo credits: RYAN WEST PHOTO

 

Chatting with Ballerina Eden Anan

 

Recently, I interviewed one of the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s students and rising stars, Eden Anan. This year, she is dancing the lead role of Clara in The Nutcracker, the beloved classic Christmas ballet. Keep reading to learn more about the auditions, rehearsals, and performances, as well as Eden’s biggest inspirations and her plans for the future.

 

R: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

E: My name is Eden Anan, and I’m 12 years old. I dance at Pacific Northwest Ballet School and am currently playing the role of Clara in The Nutcracker. I’ve been dancing for three years. This is my second year in The Nutcracker.

 

R: What is it like dancing the lead role in The Nutcracker?

E: Dancing the lead role in The Nutcracker is very exciting and an amazing opportunity! Dancing Clara is a lot of acting. When you’re out on stage with your costume, the sets, the orchestra, other kids, and all the professional dancers, it’s a lot easier to act and have more fun.

 

R: What was the audition process like?

E: At the audition, there were about 300 students in Levels 2 through 6 trying out. First, before we go into the studio, they measure our height to make sure we’re not over 5’2”, then we get numbered 1-300. Next, we go into the studio and the ballet masters and the artistic director teach us the steps. Then, one-by-one, we go from one corner to the other doing the steps with music.

 

R: What are the rehearsals like? What time of year do you start and how many hours a day do you practice?

E: Rehearsals started around the beginning of October. They were pretty strict because we didn’t have a lot of time and we had to learn the choreography quickly, so we had to rehearse 1-4 hours a day.

 

R: Do you do any other styles of dance besides ballet? If so, what’s your favorite?

E: During the Summer Course we had Hip-Hop, Modern, and Character dance. I would have to say Character was my favorite style because we got to wear heels and a skirt and the dance was energetic, fast, and fun.

 

R: Who are your biggest inspirations?

E: My biggest inspirations are definitely Misty Copeland and Maddie Ziegler.

 

R: What are five things people might not know about you?

  1. My first year at PNB I was Clara.
  2. I have three siblings.
  3. My favorite ballet is Swan Lake.
  4. I like to sing.
  5. My younger sister is a Party Girl in The Nutcracker.

 

R: What are your plans for the future?

E: In the future I want to be a professional dancer for PNB.

 

R: What advice do you have for other young dancers?

E: If you really have the passion to dance, keep dancing, work hard, and you will succeed.

 

Written by Anna Tallarico

Photo credits: Pacific Northwest Ballet

Passion Into Impact: FOOTLOOSE

By Rebecca Duberman

Becca Duberman delivering shoes How can you turn your passion into impact?  For the past 15 years, I have taken dance classes at Michele’s Dance Studio in Livingston, NJ. Over the course of my dance career, I have come to realize that having appropriate dance shoes is a key to excelling in dance.  Three years ago, I began thinking about aspiring dancers that may not be able to afford appropriate shoes. After all, the cost of dance shoes is quite expensive.  Dance shoes can cost anywhere from $40-$100 a pair and from the ages of 6-10, children’s feet grow every two to three months and teenagers at least once a year.  As a result it is very expensive to afford the proper shoes.

I founded FOOTLOOSE, a non-profit charitable organization, with the mission of collecting new and gently used dance shoes to donate to less fortunate dancers.  In 2011, my family urged me to reach out and meet with the manager of The Boys and Girls Club of Newark to see if they wanted our donations. Shavorta, the manager of The Boys and Girls Club of Newark, was very interested in working with me. It showed me how easy it was for someone to reach out to those in need and provide help. FOOTLOOSE is my passion.  I feel as if I am making a difference in aspiring dancers’ lives.

Becca Duberman sorting shoesFor my first drive, I started soliciting and donating locally, considering it was my first year handling the donations. Immediately, I started thinking of ideas to advertise. By creating my own website, I received a greater number of donations. I had to separate the good shoes from the bad ones, take inventory of the different types of shoes, and verify that there was two of every shoe. In total, FOOTLOOSE has donated over 600 pairs of shoes to The Boys and Girls Club of Newark. I was eager to start thinking of more places to donate to next year. In 2012, FOOTLOOSE donated over 300 dance shoes to Bayshore Dance Academy, a studio affected by Hurricane Sandy in Holmdel, New Jersey. Currently, in our third year of Footloose, we are moving beyond New Jersey. Having fulfilled all the needs of Bayshore Dance Academy and The Boys and Girls Club of Newark, I decided to reach out nationally. Through my research, I discovered Soles4Souls, a non-profit organization based in Nashville, Tennessee.  This year we have donated our dance shoes to Soles4Souls, which supplies shoes to remote areas in need around the world.

ItBecca Duberman dance shoes is heartwarming to see the impact my passion has had on others. It is so easy to reach out and help others in need. Hopefully, FOOTLOSE has enabled others to have a positive experience with dance.  Perhaps other young dancers will turn their passion into a project that will impact their communities.  I am thankful to people from all over the country who have shipped shoes or made donations online to help me reach my goal of donating dance shoes to aspiring dancers.  For more information about FOOTLOOSE, visit www.footloosemission.com.